International Women’s Day and the Right to Health

International Women’s Day and the Right to Health

Mary Robinson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

It is also a day to reflect on what has not yet been delivered for women. Every day, 1500 women die while giving birth to a new life. Every year, over a quarter of a million women die from a cancer that can be prevented by vaccines. Most of these women live in the poorest countries of the world.

The UN Secretary’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health calls for bold leadership and unified action to improve the health of women and children. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) is a fully committed partner – from strengthening the systems that deliver maternal health services to providing support to countries with life-saving vaccines.

Now, safe and effective vaccines exist that can prevent the infection that causes 70 percent of cervical cancer – HPV vaccines. That is exciting news.

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